Turkey backs Barzani’s call for Iraq
Masoud Barzani speaks during an interview with Reuters in Arbil. REUTERS photoIraqi leaders should convene urgently in reply to President of Kurdish Regional Administration Mesut Barzani’s call for a national congress, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said, while Iraqi leaders are at a deadlock due to failed talks that were scheduled for Dec. 23.
“We hope Iraqi political groups will convene and guarantee Iraq’s political stability,” he said.
The minister said Iraq was a small model for the Middle East and balances should be preserved in the country. “Iraq should complete this transition process in a sensitive way. We hope new clashes would not emerge in Iraq, where we were happy that it reached absolute sovereignty after withdrawal of the U.S.,” he said.
Meanwhile, a Foreign Ministry statement said yesterday that terror attacks on Dec. 22 in Iraq were a sign that some circles try to exploit recent political developments after withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.
Friday’s talks failed
Planned crisis talks set for Dec. 23 between Iraqi political leaders after deadly attacks in Baghdad were cancelled, an official said, after the two main parliamentary blocs refused to meet, AFP reported.
The meeting had been called in an effort to resolve a worsening political row between the Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s National Alliance and the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc, the latter of which is boycotting the Cabinet and Parliament.
“Yesterday, the National Alliance said Iraqiya should first end its boycott of Parliament and the Cabinet, and then there will be a meeting of the political blocs,” a Parliament official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “If the National Alliance does not attend the session, there is no need for it, because the crisis is between them and Iraqiya.”
Authorities have issued a warrant for the arrest of Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi on charges he ran a death squad, and al-Maliki has called for Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlak to be sacked after al-Mutlak said the premier led a “dictatorship” and was “worse than Saddam Hussein.”
The meeting, called after more than a dozen attacks in Baghdad killed 60 people Dec. 22 in the deadliest violence Iraq has seen for four months, had been scheduled for 3 p.m. in Parliament.